The hot and moist summer air touched my nostrils as I got off the plane and knew that this was definitely going to be an adventure I can never forget. We were finally in Vietnam and had the perfect place to start our trip at. The Gulf of Tonkin at Halong Bay is one of the UNESCO world heritage site and so our enthusiasm was understandable. As my girlfriend grabbed our bags from the luggage area, I flagged down a cab and off we went to sign in our pre-booked hotel in Hanoi. By the time we reach the place the sun is setting and the view from our hotel room us nothing short of great. As the yellow rays kiss the horizon we order dinner and tuck in for the night.
The next morning begins rather early so we can experience all that the Halong Bay has to offer. I cannot hide my enthusiasm as we check out of the hotel and set off for the day. A bus drives us to Halong bay and we sign in at the cruise center. The people here are so friendly and I wonder if the landscape will be as friendly.
As we cruise along the gulf of Tonkin, the islands come into view! I have never seen anything like it! So rugged, yet so beautiful! “This is the sort of place to shoot an army movie and it would look as real as the actual battle fields,” my girlfriend says. I look at her and then back to the view unfolding before my very eyes. It is just too beautiful! As we dock at one of the Halong Bay Islands, I am keen to observe that the place is 100% natural. No human interference is evident and I declare am already in love with the place. When the tour guide informs us that there are over 1600 similar islands everyone is left in awe.
The seascape of limestone pillars is amazing to look at, touch and feel. No doubt it is the ideal model of a mature karst landscape. According to history, as we are informed, these islands are likely to have been formed during a period of wet and warm tropical climate. With time, coastal erosion has crafted the karst landscape into some great features like arcs and caves which form a part of the natural environment here. The picturesque these features form is too amazing for me not to take photos. It is just too amazing and my girlfriend and I ensure we pose with the most beautiful parts of the scenery.
Evening approaches fast and before we know it, it is time to say goodbye to the beautiful land of Gulf of Tonkin at Halong Bay, Vietnam. What a fulfilling day it was!